In My Father's Arms
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September 8, 2011
IN MY FATHER’S ARMS
“Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” Jesus admonishes his disciples at the height of the storm on the Sea of Galilee.(Mark 4:40) This is not the only time He asks them this question. One dark night in the midst of a wind tossed sea we find Peter boldly stepping from the boat to walk to Jesus only to have his faith soon fail and he begins to sink. (Matthew 14:31) And there is the amazing account of lack of faith which I can and probably you can really relate to. In Matthew 16:7-10 we find the disciples, again in the boat, worrying because they have brought no bread. Listen to Jesus words,”Oh ye of little faith why reason you among yourselves because you have brought no bread? “ Here is the clincher—“ Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many were fed?” and just in case that doesn’t make His point He then reminds them of the feeding of the 4,000 with the seven loaves and how much was left over.
James 1:8 states, “a double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” Speaking here of the state of mind of one who lack faith in God. IN Psalm 78:41 we find the remarkable statement that the children of Israel’s lack of faith actually limited God’s ability to perform miracles for them. Why? We find the answer in verse 42—“they remembered not his hand.” IN other words they had quickly forgotten the great power that God had already showed to them.
Do you ever struggle with unbelief? I know I do. God will provide a need or answer a prayer and I’m rejoicing and praising Him confident in my faith and trust and then along comes another trial or an adverse circumstance and I’m wringing my hands saying, “woe is me.” cringing in fear trying to work up the faith to believe once again that He will work a miracle. I am so glad that God is longsuffering and patient with us aren’t you?
But I realize that this must be heartbreaking to Him when He sees my lack of faith. After all He tells me in His Word that He is a God that can be trusted. In fact I am commanded to do just that in Psalm 4:5,37:3, 62:8, and 56:3.
How do I do this? I must fix my heart on Him and His promises and not my circumstances. (Psalm 57:7) I must spend time in His Word and in prayer and just follow David’s example by spending time reflecting and remembering all the prayers He has answered and all the times He has come to my rescue in the past. If I still lack faith I can pray and ask for it just as the father of the demon possessed son in Mark 9:24 is reminded that “if he can believe all things are possible to him” and realizing his need for this faith he cries out for it and Jesus graciously supplies it and frees his son. IN Fact this is one of the first messages that the angel Gabriel brings in the very beginning of the New Testament when he answers Mary’s questions about how she can conceive a child having never had relations with a man. Gabriel simply states what is obvious to him and should be to us. “ For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37
Page two In My Father’s Arms sk hartman
At a recent family gather my son took his son who is 19 months out into the swimming pol. I watched as he carried him back and forth across the pool. Then my son would stand him up on the edge of the pool and hold out his arms encouraging my grandson to fall into them. My grandson never hesitated for a moment. With laughter he threw himself into his father’s arms unafraid.
Yes you’ve probably put it together by now how in that moment I was suddenly struck with how that is just like my heavenly Father who can be totally trusted to keep me safe. My son would never have let his little boy even plunge beneath the waves let alone drown. Yet my son’s ability to save his son is still limited but my heavenly Father has no limits on His power. And He will never let me falter or fall. He will not let those terrifying waves that seem so inevitable overflow me. Isaiah 43:2
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This is a lovely devotion. I can so relate to not having enough faith and being the queen of worrying. You may want to double space between paragraphs to give the writer that important white space. Also to not overwhelm the reader, especially someone who may be new to the scripture, you may want to just focus on one or two verses. I can feel your passion in the words and believe God put these words and thoughts in your heart. I'm so glad you listened to him and shared these points. It was a timely reminder for me and something I really needed right know. good job, I look forward to reading more of your works.
Just wanted to say what a beautiful job you did with this article. We live in some trying times and sometimes our faith seems to weaken but it's then that we need to hold on even tighter to the one who has promised never to leave us or forsake us. As I said, beautiful job. Love the way you tied it all together.
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